December 14, 2011

Report #1 from Prospect.2 New Orleans: The Music Box

Prospect New Orleans is an international art biennial founded and directed by Dan Cameron, former Sr. Curator of the New Museum and Director of the New Orleans CAC. Cameron conceived the event as a way to help bring visitors back to the city after Katrina.

Prospect.1 in 2008 was more or less spectacular (see posts here); Prospect.2 was delayed a year for lack of funding and is smaller but still worth the trip.

The Music Box, A Shantytown Sound Laboratory: 
Phase one of Dithyrambalina is a local, "satellite" project and is not to be missed. Unfortunately, I couldn't get in for the season's last concert, but the artists were kind enough to let me visit the next day; more pics and vidis here.

The project began when the New Orleans Airlift acquired a barely-standing, late 18th century Creole cottage, which promptly fell to the ground. The group asked artist Swoon to take a look. For some time she'd been dreaming of a musical house; so the artists decided to use the remains of the cottage to create a collection of experimental shanties that could serve as prototypes for instrumentalities in a larger house they hope to build.

Audio recordings of shantytown concerts are available here.

The Music Box was curated by Delaney Martin with assistance from Swoon and Theo Eliezer and was created by those and other artists including Taylor Lee Shepherd, Jayme Kalal, Quintron, Taylor Kuffner/Zemi17, Ross Harmon, Ben Mortimer, Nick Yulman, Angeliska Polacheck & Colin McIntyre, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Elizabeth Shannon, Ratty Scurvics, Rainger Pinney & Jonah Emerson-Bell, Micah Learned, Aaron Kellner, Andrew Schrock, Jade Brandt, and Myrtle Von Damitz III.

Last in this post below is a really nice vidi by grossymmetric about The Music Box. also has a good video interview with Swoon about the project. More info on the project here.

Prospect.2 New Orleans runs through January 29, 2012.

Two more posts on the biennial to come.

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